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Discussion Starter #1
We have owned numerous Subaru vehicles over the years. My mother recently purchased a used Automatic:28: 03' Outback with roughly 65,000 miles. It seems like a nice Subaru other than having some bad piston slap. Big problem is the car just has absolutely no power. You give it "the beans" and the motor winds up n gets all angry sounding and the car doesn't accelerate much. It makes trying to pass people a difficult and awkward event. The car seems to run great otherwise except for a slightly low idle. I know the car is no hot rod but something just doesn't seem right. The car is automatic and when the pedal is on the floor it will shift at 5500 RPM when the red line appears to be about 6250 RPM.. maybe this is normal idk. My sister has a Forester of the same year, automatic and has similar milage. When you put it on the floor the car accelerates much quicker then my mothers.

Maybe this is the nature of the beast, or maybe something is not quiet right. Any help is appreciated!:29:
 

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Somebody Else's XT
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That car should be able to terrify you at 6000RPM. Well, not right away but after holding it for 15-20 seconds anyway.

Start looking for driveline issues... sounds like something broke and the car is just clawing itself along via AWD properties.

Also worth looking for stuff like restricted exhaust, clogged intake... something keeping it from breathing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah im not sure if I could handle the car a 6K.. dunno if id be able to hold onto the steering wheel lol.

Excuse my ignorance but i know little about the driveline in the vehicle..
I thought Subaru's were in AWD all the time, not that that would make sense.. Sounds like they drive around in two? Then switch to AWD when needed? If so, what switches it into AWD (Mechanical part? Maybe something malfunctioning causing it to be stuck in AWD?)? Also what tells it when it needs to switch into AWD (Electronics gadget?)?

Ill have too look into these things thank you!
Looking under the hood i have noticed that the intake system looks rather restricted and overly complicated.. looks like it has a built in expansion chamber of some sort.. probably for performance reasons haha.
Maybe ill try unhooking part of the intake system to improve flow and go drag race a Prius or something...

Thank you for the help!
 

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2005 Outback/2015 outback 2.5
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What kind of gas mileage are you getting? This will be a first sign if something is wrong. If you are getting good gas mileage chances are nothing wrong with vehicle. Just the driver. If indeed you have driveline issues, you will be less than 20mpg....
 

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2011 Tacoma TRD Sport Double Cab Long Box
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The Forester will be quicker, no question. It's lighter and has the same engine. It shouldn't be dramatically quicker, though.

I'd say our three H4 Outbacks do about a 10 second 0-60...that might not be a bad way to measure how far off it is from where it should be.

All Subarus are "Full Time" AWD. That '03 has a constantly variable torque split. Typically it's pretty close to 50/50 front/rear when starting off and will take power away from the rear wheels as you pickup speed or if you're coasting down a highway, for example. Members have checked the duty-C load on here in varying driving conditions and found that it is ALWAYS sending a pretty significant amount of power to the rear, never really any less than 25% if I remember correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Im not sure what kind of gas mileage the car is getting. I asked my mom what kind of milage she was getting and i got the "I fill it up when its empty response".. Im going to look into the mileage and go from there.

Thank you all for the information! :29:
 

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02 OBW
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Maybe try popping in the FWD fuse to disable the AWD and see if that has any impact? Gas mileage would be helpful to know, as well as any service done at 60k miles.

Engine misfire from spark plug or plug wires should trigger a check engine light - is the light on at all?

Exhaust restrictions is also a good place to look. All that plastic on the air intake is pretty well designed - i.e. removing it won't gain you any power, it will just add a little more noise/growl. Good idea to check it for a mouse nest though (and check/replace the air filter if it's due). It's pretty easy to take apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The check Engine light is not on.

We just got the car, I asked my mom if there has been any service work done to the car.. she has no clue lol. I asked her about the gas mileage and although she hasn't measured it she seems to be the same as her previous Subaru's. The plug wires look to be original, and my guess is the timing belt is original as well.

That is a really good idea. Ill try taking the AWD fuse out and see what happens.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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I think rlamb may be hearing pinging and the engine is starving for fuel.

Change the fuel filter and drive it again. It would be a good idea anyway since you don't know when it was changed last and all it takes is $20 and phillips screwdriver.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,122 Posts
isn't that car past 105 months for a TB change? maybe the TB slipped a coupla teeth.
 
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